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April 30, 2014

An Agent's Take

How a Player Picks a Team

by Joshua Kusnick


Joshua Kusnick is an MLBPA-certified agent who periodically writes about his experiences representing professional players. You can subscribe to his podcast on iTunes, and reach him via email at JoshuaKusnick@aol.com and on Twitter @JoshuaKusnick.

We’re not even a month into the 2014 season, but I’ve already experienced many of the positive and negative aspects of representing professional baseball players: great starts, slow starts, free agency, club complaints, crushing releases, and signing and scouting new clients. Today I’m going to go over a process not often discussed from my side of the table: being designated for assignment, becoming a free agent, and choosing a new team.

During the first week of the season, one of my clients, Jeremy Jeffress, was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue for the second time in two years. Jeremy cleared waivers last year, and because that was his first designation, he (like all players on the 40-man roster) did not have the right to elect free agency. The second time a player is designated for assignment, the club has seven days to trade or place the player on waivers, and 10 days in total to complete the waiver process. If the player goes unclaimed the second time, he has the collectively bargained right to become a free agent or accept the minor-league assignment for either his full MLB salary (if he has a guaranteed deal) or his Triple-A negotiated salary. The contract negotiations that determinate which rate he receives are completed prior to the season.

Generally, if a player with MLB service is designated for a second time, I advise him to seek work elsewhere, barring some special circumstance. I think the Blue Jays are a first-class organization, and I work with them often, but in this instance, Jeremy and the club just didn’t click, no matter how badly each side genuinely wanted to work out with the other.

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Related Content:  Milwaukee Brewers,  Jeremy Jeffress

21 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

SaberTJ

This was a great, informative piece.

Apr 30, 2014 05:23 AM
rating: 3
 
Joshua Kusnick

Thank you been slammed all day sorry for being so late

Apr 30, 2014 17:08 PM
rating: 0
 
bhacking

I wasn't aware of the need to have a full 40 man roster. I assume this is why guys with serious injuries are first put on the 15 day disable list instead of immediately going to the 60 day DL, the club is going to wait until they need to make another move?

Apr 30, 2014 05:55 AM
rating: 2
 
Joshua Kusnick

Yes sir. Little known mlb rule the public isnt aware of but all teams should

Apr 30, 2014 17:09 PM
rating: 0
 
Richie

What do you mean by a "club's financial fairness", Joshua? A good initial offer? A prior history of dealing fairly in $$$$ terms with its minor leaguers?

Apr 30, 2014 08:32 AM
rating: -1
 
Joshua Kusnick

I meant making an actual fair offer. Theres no hidden meaning there

Apr 30, 2014 17:09 PM
rating: 0
 
Richie

Could you give us a real example of a club that's 'good at fixing players at such-and-such a position'? I'd like to better know exactly what you mean by that, Joshua.

Apr 30, 2014 08:36 AM
rating: -1
 
Joshua Kusnick

Well if i have a pitcher and team x has a reputation for correcting mechanical flaws or improving players that have been up and down to the big leagues that destination would be more desirable than others obviously

Apr 30, 2014 17:11 PM
rating: 0
 
Richie

I'm also curious about the "club complaints" part, Joshua. Seems to me that, if I have Joe Outfielder in my organization and he's being lazy/partying really heartily/treating his fellow human beings with all the graciousness of Barry Bonds/whatever behavioral problem, I first take it up with him.

Are "club complaints" typically what they think are behavioral problems from one of your clients? Do they sometimes come to you first regarding those, or is it most always "hey, Joe's paying no attention to us, so now you try"?

Apr 30, 2014 08:44 AM
rating: -1
 
Joshua Kusnick

Just team officials calling me if players are struggling at all levels on or off the field

Apr 30, 2014 17:13 PM
rating: 0
 
David Sullivan

More articles like this, please.

Apr 30, 2014 08:44 AM
rating: 4
 
Joshua Kusnick

Sure

Apr 30, 2014 17:13 PM
rating: 0
 
jkaflagg

Terrific article, many details I did not know about the process. Also appreciate the fact that Joshua also clearly cares about helping his clients as opposed to simply following the path of greatest $$$$; too often agents are lumped together as greedy parasites just looking to milk their clients (and some are), but most serve their clients with compassion and professionalism.

Apr 30, 2014 13:04 PM
rating: 0
 
Joshua Kusnick

Thank you for the compliment. I work very hard to serve my clients best interests. I know this sounds canned but i love my clients and all are a part of my family. I had a 2013 mlb pitcher fire me after six years and it sucked but anyway i ran into him rehabbing and now hes off the roster and in aa struggling to stay healthy and even though he fired me for reasons unknown we spoke like old times and i genuinely felt horrible for him working six years to get to the show only to have it ripped away a year later. Just a bad situation all around.

Apr 30, 2014 17:19 PM
rating: 0
 
Joshua Kusnick

I also dropped a high 2013 draft pick when i heard he was interviewing other agents. I did a great job for him 5 endorsements and he still wasnt happy. As an agent you know you wont keep a player with that makeup no matter how hard you work. Its never enough. I hope whoever he hires next enjoys the experience.

Apr 30, 2014 17:23 PM
rating: 0
 
elatedscum

really interesting and insightful article

Apr 30, 2014 18:58 PM
rating: 0
 
Joshua Kusnick

Thanks for reading

May 01, 2014 14:28 PM
rating: 0
 
gpurcell

These are awesome articles. Thank you!

May 01, 2014 08:59 AM
rating: 0
 
Joshua Kusnick

Any time. I enjoy writing them and talking to fans.

May 01, 2014 14:29 PM
rating: 0
 
brucegilsen
(999)

Thanks, this was a very interesting look under the hood.

May 01, 2014 17:56 PM
rating: 0
 
Joshua Kusnick

Thanks

May 04, 2014 17:56 PM
rating: 0
 
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